In the last few years, I was able to add "Streets", and although a fair amount of time and effort was involved in building them into my city, I really like the effect. For the life of me, I don't know why they don't include operating headlights in their vehicles, something that is beyond my skill level to retrofit. Oddly, a couple of companies offering operating headlights in their vehicles, yet the vehicles are static?

Here's short videos of nighttime scenes. The "clunk" towards the end of the 2nd video is the steamers colliding at one of my crossovers...that's why I had to shut down power asap. As I get older I find it more and more challenging to drink and drive trains and cars on the layout at the same time

Updated video showing trains and "Streets" vehicles - towards the end of the video (3:12) there's a scene of the "Streets" intersection with a RK trolley stopped on the bridge. In the future, I'll try to make a video of cars passing through after the trolley goes through, or vice-versa. The trolley line is a "Streets" line as well, so I run cars on it from time to time.

Video showing just "Streets"

Last edited by Paul Kallus
Original Post

Very nice!  (cars and the layout itself, in general!).

Did you have to edit out the "Oh $h!t!!" from the audio when the steamers met?   (more seriously, hope the damage was minimal)


Fabulous city scene at night with illuminated buildings and signs, and moving motor vehicles. All very impressive. Arnold

Great looking downtown Paul!

As far as the no headlights in the dark. I've seen more than one vehicle in my lifetime going down the road with no lights on at 2am on the weekend, likely for reasons already mentioned. I'd say its prototypical.

I've added headlights to about half a dozen homespun or bashed on automobile & m.o.w. critters. Kinda fun really. (most would run fine on Streets

. I use winding wire from an old field coil and hot glue to hold it tight to the shell until wires meet center roof, then pigtail down (and plug if ones handy).  I used the grain of wheat bulbs from the corner RS (RIP).. But the motors are mostly dc so led use is pretty easy there too. 

The hardest part is often blackening/blocking the backside of the lights to stop light bleed out of seams and wheel wells, etc..

For lenses after carving a big taillight hole, you could use "canopy maker", Testors & others. (I like the bulb glass for headlights, but this stuff makes nice clear "glass" for models. LEDs tips just don't look right until lit. "Make a bubble where the lens gors and let set up (looks like white glue, similar skin time, thicker firmer skin though ), maybe hang upside down for a curved lens, etc., yellow green clear-color lens paint (Testors, etc) (a few days white edges will be crystal clear).

A tiny hole surrounded by some red and silver paint is a surprisingly effective minimalist taillight.

I had the same dreams as a kid. I have some aprox. 1:50 Corvettes and 1:38 Manx buggies with wheelie frames, and controls/power; but only a very small, 1 straight piece, oval (fits nice into an 0-27 oval, but no room for any speed at all) ... I would love to find the whoop-de-doo hills track for the wheelie frame buggies (Revell).... rail crossings other than Tyco were "urban legends" for me. I don't recall ever seeing more than one or two custom jobs and I think those were S.   

Many a Matchbox, Hot Wheel and even Johnny Lightnings crossed my tracks "Dukes of Hazzard" style on one lane orange roads.  I one of those battery powered stations that slung the cars for two tracks around and around non-stop.   As a kid I always thought it was "dumb" that HotWheels etc weren't 1:48.  I think I even wrote a letter to complain  (question is did Grandma actually mail it...likely, but I sense "busywork" today too )


Very nice Paul.  I believe you've contributed to Tall Buildings Tuesday before but with a downtown like that you should be posting to that thread more often.

Thanks for the comments.

My tall buildings are mostly combinations of Railking structures, with one Korber and one Menards structure. Thus, it was accomplished within a budget.

Adriatic is probably right that lights could be retrofitted in Street vehicles...I just don't that skill level. I have however, added driver and passenger figures to the vehicles, but the figures need to be cut down in size. It's very cramped inside Street vehicles.

fyi, the ultimate Streets objective was to incorporate a RR crossing - which they make in Fasttrack but is very hard to do given my lack of room in basement, obviously because crossings lie at 90 degree angles to mainlines, which necessitates a special track plan that I didn't account for. There's also a lack of command controlled vehicles that would've worked in such a setup...I think K-Line only made two vehicles in TMCC. It would be awesome fun though...running a car through a crossing as a train is bearing down, and vice versa.


I updated my original post with a new video showing both trains and "Streets". In the updated video, there's a scene of Streets intersection. Intersections were a great idea for the system. Currently, I have a 2-lane road intersecting with a single lane. Their both controlled via separate transformers so that I can avoid collisions, although running trains and Street vehicles at the same time can be challenging, even when I am sober

Jim, I had seen the FXautomation system of streets and looks awesome from the videos. I don't like the lead guide bar attached to the front of the cars though, kind of ruins the effect, and re-charging batteries would be a PITA, but the system does seem a step in the right direction.

Last edited by Paul Kallus

Lee Willis has converted the Streets system on his layout to FXautomation by adding a new road surface and buried lead wire; and, had numerous O scale Streets vehicles converted to FX's system. 

Last edited by Pingman

Years ago, a neighbor of my parents, had a combination Lionel train and slot car layout in their walk out basement that was viable from out house.  It took two or more engineers or drivers to operate it and boy did they have fun over the Christmas holidays.


Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

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